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Large fire breaks out in Richmond, B.C., south of Vancouver

Richmond Fire-Rescue said several trucks were dispatched to a fire near the Fraser River around 8:15 p.m.

Richmond Fire-Rescue says several trucks were dispatched to the fire

Black smoke rises above a city.

Thick black smoke billowed above Richmond, B.C. after a fire broke out Thursday evening.

Richmond Fire-Rescue said several trucks were dispatched to a fire near the the Oak Street Bridge, bordering Vancouver and Richmond, at about 8:15 p.m.

The Metro Vancouver Regional District said in a post on X (formerly Twitter) that an old rail bridge caught fire and was causing black smoke. The district issued an air quality bulletin, asking anyone with shortness of breath, chest discomfort, severe coughing or dizziness to seek medical help.

In an interview late Thursday, assistant deputy fire chief Grant Wyenberg said firefighters arrived to see heavy smoke and fire. He said a trestle bridge caught fire, and smoke on the Oak Street Bridge was making it difficult to get water on the flames.

Wyenberg said it's not clear how the fire began.

He said he suspected the burning bridge was covered in creosote, a wood-tar preservative, which was producing the heavy black smoke.

Vancouver fire. Old railroad tracks burning <a href="https://t.co/qHSewhQZU1">pic.twitter.com/qHSewhQZU1</a>

&mdash;@Coyler_

DriveBC said on X that the fire affected traffic on the Oak Street Bridge in both directions.

⛔️<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OakStreetBridge?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OakStreetBridge</a> Northbound traffic being blocked at Bridgeport Rd due to a fire. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BCHwy99?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BCHwy99</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RichmondBC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RichmondBC</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Vancouver?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Vancouver</a> <a href="https://t.co/kWJghmmJlN">https://t.co/kWJghmmJlN</a>

&mdash;@DriveBC

In a statement on X, Vancouver International Airport said its operations were not affected by the fire.

Que Gardner, a visitor from Jacksonville, Florida, said he was in the casino when the fire broke out.

"Before I knew it, everything was on fire over here, and it slowly worked its way down," he said.

Jacob Joseph said he saw the fire from near Lansdowne Park. He cycled from his home nearby to see the source of the smoke.

"I'm shaken up," he said. "I've never seen anything like this in Richmond."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Isaac Phan Nay

Reporter/Editor

Isaac Phan Nay is a CBC News reporter/editor in Vancouver. Please contact him at isaac.phan.nay@cbc.ca.

    With files from Nicholas Allan

    *****
    Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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